There are some really, truly amazing accounts on Instagram. There are some really, truly awful accounts on Instagram. Your feed is only as great as the Instagrammers you follow, making the old adage “What you see is what you get” ring ever the more true. But if you’re looking for the best Instagram accounts to follow, where to start? Who to follow?
It’s hard to know those answers; they’re not always intuitive. Many a friend has gotten on Instagram just to see what’s up with the nieces and nephews who live a thousand miles away. But there is so much more! No offense to your nieces and nephews — they’re cute, I’m sure — but give yourself the opportunity for some true eye candy as well as downright art. Allow me to give you a springboard from which to dive into the world of Instagram you somehow knew existed but never actually got to experience.
Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. — Dorothea Lange
Best Instagram Accounts to Follow
By no means is the following an exhaustive list, but some ideas of who to follow according to your interests. We’ve compiled loads of accounts to check out, and broken them down into categories for your convenience.
Just Plain Cool Instagrams
These are the Instagram accounts that are, well, just plain cool; the “Must Follows,” if you will. Topping many an Instagram Must Follow List is Alex Strohl. These photos are stunning. Stun. Ing. There’s a reason he has 977,000 followers without being a Hollywood celebrity. Another adventurer-type who produces jaw-dropping Instagrams: Renan Ozturk. You’ve probably come across Humans of New York somewhere in your internet travails; whether you have or not, you must check out their powerful Instagram. Garret Cornelison reminds us how amazing life on Earth can be. You may also want to take a gander at ceeesk and shaqvel .
Yoko Ono‘s Instagram game is pretty cool, as well. And because we didn’t make a separate category for fitness -type Instagrams, we want to point you in the direction of Jessie Delgado. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls movement is both inspiring and fun. And finally, for some really inspiring, happy quotes, check out Happsters; they’re in the business of happy.
Well, famous people anyways — the term celebrity is so vague nowadays. The most followed Instagram accounts (we’re talking over 50 million followers) besides Instagram itself are: Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Ariana Grande, with Justin Beiber, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner all approaching 50 million.
I didn’t put links to any of them because you odds are you are A) already following them or B) you have no interest whatsoever in following them. I don’t think there’s any in between. But here are some famous people who aren’t completely annoying:
- Okay. Okay. Okay. Here’s a link to Taylor Swift‘s Instagram. Because, actually, she pwns at Instagram.
- Jimmy Fallon. His show is great, his Tweets are great, and his Instagram is great.
- Zooey Deschanel. Your favorite quirkster, nerd next door. See life through her eyes. Her giant, giant eyes.
- Madonna. This is a must-follow for any Madonna fan, because otherwise, how can you keep track of what persona she’s pretending is hers this time?
- Felicia Day. Felicia Day has been an Internet culture/sci-fi darling for years, and her role in Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog didn’t hurt. And now, she’s been revealed as the new villain on the newly revamped Mystery Science Theatre 3000. So, that’s someone worth keeping track of.
- Lena Headey. Calling all Game of Thrones fans. And no, don’t expect a bunch of naked shots. For that, you’ve got to watch show!
- Quest Love. We’ve got Fallon on there, so you also need his amazing bandleader! You may know him primarily as Fallon’s Paul Schaffer, but Quest Love has some serious musical chops!
- Katy Perry Follow both Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel, and some day you, too may be able to tell them apart!
- LeBron James My Cleveland friends can like him again.
- Amy Schumer This lady is funny, so her Instagram has got to be a riot. It might mostly be pictures of her drinking, though. But hey, Jennifer Lawrence will probably make the occasional cameo!
- Reese Witherspoon So, did you see that movie Wild? I hear she did all her own walking. So…
- Chris Pratt Every schlubb’s favorite super-normal turned super-hero!
- Chrissy Teigen
- The Rock No home-hobby geologist’s Instagram feed is complete without… wait? You mean the wrestler? Dwayne Johnson? Oh, I thought I was following an actual rock. No, no — an international acting and athletic superstar is cool too, I guess.
- Beige Cardigan
- Kanye Doing Things Imma let you finish this article in a moment, but I just want to say that you should probably also be following Beyonce!
- Miserable Men
- I am Amy Sedaris If you haven’t seen Strangers With Candy, you only think you have found things funny. If you have seen Strangers With Candy, odds are, you’re still trying to make this face:
- TeamCoCo Man, I’ve been liking Conan O’Brian for years. It wasn’t until the whole kerfuffle with Leno becoming the Grover Cleaveland of The Tonight Show that liking Conan O’Brian put you on a team. Man, I shoudl get a jersey.
- Why My Kid Was Crying If you’re a parent, then you will be doing a lot of nodding and agreeing at picture after picture of children having meltdowns. If you aren’t a parent, then this will be the antidote to the endless wall of baby pictures that your embabied friends are always posting to social media.
- Crap Taxidermy Are you burdened by too much sleep? You’re trying to lose that last ten pounds, but you still have the basic appetite necessary to continue human metabolic processes? Then spend an evening with this bizarre Instagram, and food and sleep will be the last of your problems. Creepy suit-wearing jackalopes, though….
- Texts from Your Ex
- NBC SNL Sure, you might not think SNL is funny right now, but imagine if you can combine your smugness from saying, “Oh, it hasn’t been funny since [x] left the cast,” with the smugness of having seen behind the scenes information. You’ll be unstoppable! And unbearable! All the basic un-ables!
- Girl With No Job
- Victoria Beckham. You know her as Sporty Spice…. oh, you don’t? How old are you? Oh, so the Spice Girls are a historic movement to you. I’m going to go lie down.
- 70s Babes
- The Sartorialist
- Alexa Chung
- Cara Delevigne
- Coco Rocha
- Eva Chen
- Kate Bosworth
- National Geographic Travel. To twelve year old boys throughout history, National Geographic has been that wonderful loophole that allowed you to look at you know what while appearing to be enriching your mind. But as you get older, and see that the internet has put us at Peak Peek (devaluing the entire system), you come to appreciate the grandeur of science and geography, and the amazing diversity of the human experience, that National Geographic has always tried to communicate. Follow their Instagram to… hook into… that whole… thing. Sorry, that got away from me there at the end.
- Expert Vagabond
- Kirsten Alana
- Young Adventuress
- Chris Burkard
- Round the World Girl
- Tiff Penguin
- The Blonde Abroad
- Everything Everywhere
- Cole Rise
- Spencer Hibert
- Yung Jake
- Chris Samnee
- Bang Bang NYC
- Banksy Famous recontextualizing artist Banksy has made an entire career of getting people to actually see those marginal parts to our existence that we often overlook. Most recently, he’s opened a massive installation called Dismaland (a nightmarish reimagining of Disneyland). Since he does a lot of graffiti work, following his Instagram may be the best way to see some of his art before it’s painted over. But don’t expect to see any selfies. Dude is reclusive.
- Things Organized Neatly
- Peaches and Keen
- Lily Stockman
- Sarah Palmer
- Rachel Ryle
- Mike Escamilla
- Tony Hawk Man, I nearly flunked out of undergrad because of Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 2. (Yes, that is a number two.) To this day, when I see any sort of structure that I could combo off of (in the game … I know I have no skillz), I immediately flash back to the amazing soundtrack that game had. “I know a place where everyone can be happy / It’s the most beautiful place in the whole f******n world….”
- Humza Deas
- Kelly Slater
- Vadim Makhorav
- Andrew Tso
- Jamie Oliver — You know you’re gonna see some tasty dishes on this celebrity chef’s Instagram.
- Julie Lee
- Diane Cu
- Ashley Rodriguez
- Food 52
- Spoon for Bacon
- Blue Bottle Coffee
Wait? The animals have learned how to use Instagram? That’s it, human race. We’re no longer needed here. Please make an orderly line to your closest extinction terminal… Oh, these are just Instagrams featuring animals? Nevermind…
- Hot Dudes with Dogs
- Marnie the Dog
- Dogs of Instagram
- Chill Wild Life
- Cash Cats
- Maya on the Move
- Biddy the Hedgehog
- Piggy & Polly
- Michael & Hero
Nature Lovers Instagrams
Those are some of the big ones I’ve turned up, but as I said before, I make no pretense that this list even begins to approach anything that can be even passingly mistaken for comprehensive.
But hopefully this is a good place to start, if you’re new to Instagram and are hoping to fill out an interesting feed for yourself?
But who did I miss? If there’s somebody you really like, especially someone that you feel plays into one of the categories I was using, please mention them in the comments! I’m always up for a new account to follow!